Christmas Reflections: Timeless Truths for Today
Trusting the One Who Has the Answers
“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
Questions follow life-altering news. Whether it’s a diagnosis, a failed attempt, a passed test, an accident, or an achievement, people want to try and wrap their minds around what is going on in their lives. “What is the plan?” “What do I do next?” “How did this happen?” “Why is this happening to me?” “When do I start?” Even the Super Bowl winners get asked, “What will you do now?”—as if they hadn’t just experienced something huge.
Mary’s reaction to finding out she will be the mother of the Savior makes sense in some ways. How will this be? She knows that it is physically impossible, and this is also not the direction she thought her life would go. Marry Joseph? Yes. Make a home with him? Yes. Have children? Yes.
That had all changed. Become pregnant with the future Savior, break the news to Joseph, hope she doesn’t bring dishonor to her family, take a trip to a small town to have her baby among livestock, and need to run to a foreign country to escape a king who wants her infant dead. Not to mention men breaking out in praise when they meet her baby son, losing him as a tween on a trip to Jerusalem, witnessing miracles, being devastated by Holy Week, and experiencing the joy-terror of seeing her son resurrected. Mary’s question might have been different had she known all this was ahead of her.
Mary didn’t know. How could she? We don’t know what’s ahead for us either. Mary focused on the one part that was so very human. She looked only at what was physically impossible—a pregnant virgin—practically ignoring the fact that she was to be the mother of the one of whom prophets spoke and for whom generations hoped.
Even if we think we have great plans (and contingency plans), they can change. A job promotion can turn into a terrible power struggle. A diagnosis can turn from optimistic to tragic (or vice versa). We only think of these things in ways that our finite human brains understand with earthly limitations. How we fit into a God-sized plan is impossible for us to figure out. That’s the great thing, though. We don’t have to figure it out. God already knows how it will work out.
Learning from Mary’s reaction, I think we can agree to change our question. Instead of, “How will this be?” we can ask for strength, acceptance, and trust when we don’t understand what’s happening. We don’t need all the answers. We need the One who has the answers and who will help guide us through any uncertainty in life.
Lord, when my life seems to veer off course because of unexpected change, please help me to accept the change and lean on you. Please open my heart to possibility and show me how I can glorify you in the midst of uncertainty. Finally, help me to be willing to accept the help of those you put in my life to provide me with clarity and comfort. Amen.
Written by Jen Wolf
Provided by WELS Women’s Ministry